Pride Only Hurts
“The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That’s pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps. – Marsellus Wallace, Pulp Fiction
That quote kept going through my head last night as I watched the news networks announce President Obama had won reelection. I felt that old team mentality creeping back in. It was the team mentality that left me giddy when Bush defeated Kerry in 2004. That team mentality that had me depressed for days after Obama won in 2008. The team mentality that caused me to feel just a little sad last night when Mitt Romney, a candidate that I had never supported, lost an election that a better candidate might have won.
In the past I have been an enthusiastic supporter for the Republican party. I spent years engaging in the most partisan of chat board wars, bar debates and family squabbles. I lived for that kind of fight. But one gets older, we hopefully get a bit wiser and we lose some of our youthful exuberance. That has been me for this election cycle. It kind of hurts though. You want to believe in your team, even when they keep disappointing you.
I think much of my distaste came from our nominee. If it had been Mitch Daniels or Jon Huntsman I think I would have been far more interested, far more excited and if they had lost, far more devastated today. As it stands, I don’t really feel anything other than a vague disappointment. I’m tired of seeing the way that the most annoying and backward voices seem to run my party. This feeling though is replaced with a small bit of excitement, because I am moving in a new direction. Sometime this week I will be turning in my paperwork to switch my party affiliation from Republican to Independent.
I don’t know if this decision will be one I regret during the next primary season. Kentucky is a closed primary state and generally I do like having a say in who the GOP elects. But I think if I am being true to myself, this is the right move. I want to scrub away the last little bits of my partisanship. No doubt this will take some time and I will stumble, but as I always say about my faith, the glory is in the struggle.
Yesterday, when I talked about how I should label myself ideologically now, Brother Mark was right to ask me to elaborate. Here and elsewhere I have spent much of the past four years talking about labeling our positions on individual issues and not ourselves at a broad level. So let me be clear: I still lean rightward on most issues so it’s probably fair to call myself a conservative in certain situations as a kind of conversational shorthand, but with the folks here at the League I am going to try to avoid that impulse. My goal for the next four years is to try to steer as many of our conversations as possible away from partisan bickering and towards issue-based solutions.
Today I find myself resigned to the next four years. If previous two-term administrations are a good example, we can expect much more ugliness and a scandal or two sometime after 2014. The primary season for 2016 will start sooner than we can imagine and with a full field on both sides of the aisle, I would also be lying if I said that I am not excited about watching that process. I may be a bit discouraged these days, but I’m still committed to the process.